The Memorial University of Newfoundland Pensioners' Association (MUNPA) memoir group is inviting submissions for a book of personal memoirs about the era 1950 to 1990 by retired Memorial University professors, librarians, instructors, technical and administrative staff.
The group was started 10 years ago after retired English professor Dr. Roberta Buchanan was asked by several MUNPA members – including Dr. Raoul Andersen of the Department of Anthropology and the late Dr. Don Steele of the Department of Biology – to do a workshop on memoir writing. A group of interested retirees then started meeting once a month.
“We think that the uniqueness of Memorial University and its challenging early decades could result in our memoirs being a valuable supplement to the literature about academic life in Canada,” said Dr. Stephen Riggins of the Department of Sociology. “We also anticipate that alumni will enjoy reading this volume and believe it may even contribute to the community spirit of the university.”
Dr. Riggins, who is currently writing a history of the Department of Sociology, will co-edit the volume with Dr. Buchanan. They welcome the following types of articles: autobiographical reminiscences about careers at Memorial University, including how the author came to Memorial; articles about deceased members of the groups mentioned above; interviews with staff or faculty members who do not wish to submit an article of their own; and stories about institutions and events at Memorial, such as the Junior Division, Extension Services, Botanical Garden, the student strike, Women’s Association (WAMUN), Institute of Social and Economic Research, academic departments, campus theatre, art gallery and so forth.
The MUNPA memoir group meets informally one afternoon a month in A-3015 (the Department of Englisht’s Seary Room) to read and discuss their memoirs. Members include retired librarians, retirees from geography, sociology, anthropology, women’s studies (now gender studies), physics, biology, the School of Medicine and the School of Music among others. They have documented not only their own personal histories but also how their personal lives are intertwined with the history of their years at Memorial University. The book project was the next natural step, according to Dr. Buchanan.
Her own first memories of Memorial include arriving on the Newfie Bullet in August 1964 and being met by the head of the English department, Dr Seary, and his wife Gwen, and “How kind and welcoming they were to a nervous young new immigrant and faculty member.”
The deadline for submissions is Sept. 1, 2013. The editors request articles averaging 2,000-3000 words with photographs if possible. Memorial retirees who are interested in submitting an article or those in the Memorial community who wish to suggest names of potential contributors or topics, should contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.